Idiots of warhammer
|December 18, 2010||Posted by Angry Nerd under Gaming, Humor, warhammer|
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They’re everywhere, man! Everywhere! And I don’t mean zombies (they are over there in a big block, slowly trotting across the battlefield, mumbling about brains), or skaven (although they ARE usually everywhere), or even pansy wood elves (they’re everywhere around you, but you can’t see them for all the trees). I’m talking about idiots. War gaming is full of them, and at first, their presence can seem overwhelming.
Now, I’ll be honest, I can’t tell you much about gaming anymore, it has been years since I played Warhammer or any other miniature war game. And I wasn’t very good at it even then. But I do know idiots, partly from being one at times, and partly from a lifetime of being exposed to them. So, in order to make the world a (slightly) better place, I give you my guide to the most common forms of idiots in Warhammer, as well as my advice on how to deal with them.
1. The whiner.
To the whiner, everything that can go wrong right now is going wrong. As are a lot of things that CAN’T go wrong. And everything that isn’t currently going wrong, is about to. “The GW staff all plays your army and hates mine”, “I should have been allowed to reroll that dice”, “I didn’t have time to prepare a proper army list”, “the paintjob on your figures are distracting me”, “I had a bit of a cold last month and still haven’t gotten over it”, “the financial situation in Haiti is confusing my strategy”, “my mom never hugged me”, “my dad hugs me too much”. Everything is diminishing his ability to play Warhammer. If you’re winning its only because of these unfortunate circumstances that are beyond anyone’s control (although you likely have something to do with it), and if you’re losing its proof of your opponents amazing prowess as a general and human being that he can overcome all these terrors and vanquish you!
Solution: The big mistake people make with whiners is trying to be sympathetic towards them. For a normally functioning human being, taking pity on those less fortunate is a natural reaction. Or so I have been told. But the point is, the whiner is not less fortunate (well, you know, except for being a whiner). The whiner is in fact using his whines to distract you. Sympathy is weakness, and any weakness you show will be pounced upon like a WoW nerd on the last copy of Cataclysm. Trying to be sympathetic to a whiner in hope of reducing the whining is like trying to discourage rabid dogs from attacking you by covering your genitals in BBQ sauce; it only ensures more pain.
Instead, I recommend the “evil overlord approach”. Throw back your head and cackle with glee at each of the whiners complaints. Shout things along the line of “Yes, truly you are a pitiful opponent! The forces of the world align to crush you, and soon, all that you are will be destroyed!” Try wearing a black cape to enhance the effect. If you don’t have one, ask one of those LARP freaks to borrow his.
2. The rambler.
To the rambler, everything is really interesting. Everything except the game you’re trying to play. The rambler will happily talk about other games he played, the excellence of some TV show you’ve never heard of, his favorite RPG character, old movies, how his car wouldn’t start 2 weeks ago and his aunt Helens bad back. This wouldn’t be so bad if the rambler would get on with the game at the same time, but one of the trademark moves of the rambler is being unable to do more than one thing at once. If he rambles, he’s not gaming! Signs of boredom or discomfort in his audience will not deter a good rambler. If anything, he will ramble harder (is that even an expression) in the misplaced belief that his ramblings are the cure, not the cause, for your boredom.
Solution: There are a great many solutions to a rambler, but very few are constructive and even fewer are legal. Luckily, despite their lack of empathy for their victims, ramblers are among the less sociopathic idiots in wargaming. As long as you aren’t overly polite, you can usually keep them going in the right direction by constantly reminding them to play the game. You won’t make many friends this way, but let’s be honest, you’re not here to make friends. You’re here to assert your dominance over other beta-males through defeating them with little plastic figures.
3. The twink.
To the twink, the term “spirit of the game” simply means that the game has passed away, should be dumped in a landfill, and everyone should get back to winning. While a lot of gamers are more concerned about the combat viability of their army than if their ratio of swordsmen to spearmen accurately reflects the province their color scheme comes from, the twink is more interested in how to best justify having the wearer of the armoire of invincibility mounted on a dragon, even though the description of the armoire of invincibility clearly states that the wearer of it cannot be mounted.
Yes, I read 8-bit theater recently
The true sign of a twink is that they refuse to compromise. He will never roll a d6 to resolve an issue (even if rules, official or house, say this is how it should be resolved). He will never accept a solution that doesn’t acknowledge his (miss)interpretation of the rules as correct. Unlike your average minmaxer who is just out to field the most competitive army he can, the twink is out to bend the rules to the breaking point and get away with it. Twinks care less about winning the game then they do about winning the argument. It’s not really that important if a dragon rider wearing the armoire of invincibility is practical or cost effective. The twink has just been kicked around too long, rejected by too many women, mocked by too many literate people. He’s taking a stand! He demands something back, and that something is the right to mount the wearer of the armoire of invincibility on a dragon!
Solution: Twinks usually come in flavors. They like one particular thing, and will try to get the most obscene amount of that one thing into their army, rules be damned! There are magic twinks, character twinks, super-unit twinks and artillery twinks to name a few. Once you know what kind of twink you’re dealing with (and its usually not very hard to figure it out), you can just include enough protection from his favored twinkery to easily deal with him.
Alternatively, if you’re one of the few wargamers who can bench press a pewter dragon, you could try hitting the twink in the face. Most twinks have deep mental scars from years of being abused, and the resulting emotional breakdown can be worth the suspension from the club you will likely suffer.
4. The rules lawyer.
Like the twink, the rules lawyer will argue long and hard about even the most minor conflict in the rules. Unlike the twink, the rules lawyer is less about winning and more about the impression that the rules have a higher purpose. By being knowledgeable about the rules, and ensuring that they are enforced EXACTLY “as the game designers intended”, the rules lawyer shares this higher purpose. And there is much rejoicing. Not for anyone else, mind you, but for the rules lawyer.
Solution: the bad news is that rules lawyers usually do know the rules very well. The good news is that they can really only use every rule once, as long as you have some basic memory. Whenever there’s a conflict about a ruling, simply make sure that the solution is written down and made an official house rule. Most rules lawyers find it hard arguing with things that are written down, especially if the written down things are called rules. A written down set of house rules, including the rule “If there is a conflict between official rules and house rules, the house rule takes precedence” will do wonders to quell unruly rule lawyers.
5. The idiot that read it on the internet.
This idiot will make idiotic suggestions for the game, because he read it on the internet. He wants to use the special character “Lord doomzors the pwninator” that doom(z) everything in the opposing army by his powers of pwnination(“Yeah, your guys can’t fire at Lord doomzors because they’re doomed to miss!”). He brings an army list based on an unofficial codex published on some 3rd party website (oh, and he didn’t bring any other army list, so unless you let him play his special army he can’t play at all). But actually, he’s pretty sure that codex he based his army list on is actually official, because he thinks it was on the GW website! Almost certain, actually. Anyway, a guy on IRC who claimed to have ACTUALLY WORKED FOR GW said it was totally balanced!
A variant of this idiot is the guy who makes up alternative armies and rules, and tries to pass them on as official or semi official by claiming he found them on the internet. You can easily spot the type; they field very specialized armies and try to win acceptance for changes that makes this type of army better, at the expense of losing things they weren’t going to use anyway. “Sure, the dwarves in the ‘beardless army’ list have a base movement rate of 6” instead of 3” because they don’t trip over their beards, but remember, they can’t take any longbeard! You know, those models I don’t own and wasn’t going to use anyway!”
Solution: These idiots lost a lot of their power with mobile internet. It is far too easy to go online and check any claims they make. If it’s not official GW stuff, you’re not using it.
6. The paint fascist.
Some people like playing more than painting. Some people like painting more than playing. And some people consider you fit only for death or humiliation if your painting isn’t up to their standards. Can you guess which kind the paint fascist is?
The paint fascist resembles a rambler in some ways, because he will ramble on and on. It may seem slightly more tolerable because he’s usually rambling about something slightly related to gaming, but because most of what the paint fascist talks about is how much your painting sucks (at least compared to his), it won’t take long before it starts getting on your nerves. Also, unlike the rambler, the paint fascist is usually quite adept at rambling and playing at the same time, although the fact that they need to explain in detail how they highlighted every figure they are moving, progress will be slow.
Solution: the worst thing with the paint fascist is that they are usually quite good painters. This can make their criticism all the more painful. The easiest solution if you’re not up to their painting standard is to make sure you’re a very competitive gamer; paint fascists usually aren’t very good at the strategy part of Warhammer (they are more interested in positioning their armies so they look cool), meaning that you can crush them as they brag about their painting skills. This is especially enjoyable when you force them to remove their favorite models from the board.
Another solution is to enlist their help. If you stroke their egos to a suitable level, you may be able to get them to help you with some tricky paint jobs of yours. Of course, this puts you in their debt, but GW already owns your ass, so you may just sell your soul and dignity as well.
7. The smelly guy.
Many geeks have a suboptimal sense of personal hygiene, but this guy reeks to a level normally associated with mass graves or anime conventions. You can actually feel his body odor penetrating you as you inhale, as some form of semi-substantial hentai monster violating your lungs. And then he wants to shake hands!
I’d write more about this, but the jokes would all stink.
Solution: this can be tricky because surprisingly, several smelly guys are actually good opponents once you get past the scent. They often have nice looking armies, play a decent game, and if it wasn’t for their total inability to comprehend the fact that their mere presence is a olfactory offence, you might well make friends with them. Considering how hard it is to find a good opponent (mostly because of the other kinds of idiots I’ve listed) you may not want to alienate the guy.
In those cases, I suggest establishing a few house rules: you bring your own dice and you don’t move eachothers figures. No snacks on or near the gaming table. And you make sure you always, ALWAYS wear gloves. Cheap ones, so you can burn them once you shake hands after the game.
8. The counts-as idiot.
Not to be confused with the Counts Ass Idiot (not included in this guide), the counts-as idiot doesn’t actually own an army. Not a coherent one, anyway. At best, he has a few plastic boxed sets (all from different armies), and a couple of models may actually be undercoated. At worst, he fields an army consisting of 2 plastic goblins, 45 bases with no model on them, a pocket book representing a dragon and several grubby pieces of eraser (or possibly very old jelly beans) for a unit of skirmishers.
Sometimes this idiot isn’t so bad. A few people simply don’t have a lot of money or time, and still want to engage in the odd game. Good for you! Perhaps he’s a new guy who just wants to see if he likes playing the game before he buys an army. And just about everyone will sometimes use a model to represent something else, if only so they can try out how a unit they are considering getting works out in-game. However, when the guy has brought the same collection of odds and ends for years, clearly with no intention of every getting a proper army, it does get old.
Solution: While it goes against everything I believe in, I would suggest letting this idiot get away with it the first few times. But since this can quickly get out of hand, especially when everyone starts doing it, a house rule that requires at least 50% of the army to be painted will usually solve it. If the guy is really unable to get a proper army, it’s better to let him borrow someone else’s. A pitched battle against chess pieces, post it notes and cutlery just isn’t much fun.
9. The historically correct idiot.
The historically correct idiot is to themed armies what the twink is to competitive gaming. A lot of people like to have some background and theme for their armies and enjoy the feeling that their armies “make sense”, but when you start ranting about everyone else for not playing the game the same way you do, it goes too far. It’s a fantasy game, ok? There can be magic. Sometimes a monster is ok. And if Jims empire army has TWO units of swordsmen even though the color scheme comes from a region known for their spearmen, it might, just might NOT be the end of the world. Stop frothing please, you’re scaring the children.
It gets even worse when the historically correct idiot begins to compare fantasy armies with their “real world counterpart”. Yes, the empire has a germanic theme. Tomb kings were clearly inspired by Egyptian mythology. Still a fantasy game, ok? And don’t even get me started on the “high elves are clearly inspired by Tolkiens work, so therefor they should be…” people!
Solution: This is a very tricky idiot. You can’t beat them with house rules as they don’t try to change the rules. You usually can’t argue with them because: 1. They have a rule lawyer-like knowledge of lore and background, and 2. They’re bonkers.
Really, unless you share their passion for “historically correct” armies, just don’t play them. Douchebags the bunch of them.
10. The really ugly chick.
Women are rare in wargaming. In fact, if it wasn’t for mothers and sisters, I’m quite sure most wargamers would know of women only because they’ve inspired witch elves. Of the few women that do game, a worryingly large minority seem to have very little interest in the game itself, and have started playing only because they feel it’s their duty to break into hobbies dominated by men. Now, if we overlook the flawed logic that calls wargamers men (not you readers of course, I mean all those OTHER sissy gamers, really), this seems like a pretty stupid way to rebel against the male-dominated society. Still, they do, and they fight the oppressive patriarchy by constantly reminding everyone of how bad men are.
In some ways, this idiot resembles a whiner, but with more focus; all the whining is genus based. Game designers are male pigs (seriously, have you seen those guys? While pig may be appropriate, there’s absolutely nothing manly about being a game designer!). The models representing females are offensive and unrealistic (but somehow, the talking rat with the minigun is ok). And you’re a bad person. Bad, you hear me? BAD!
Solution: You know those little yappy annoying dogs that are usually owned by old ladies or Paris Hilton. Imagine one of those dogs picking a fight with a bear. Then imagine the bear taking a dumb on the yappy dog.
Yeah, hold on to that mental image. It doesn’t really relate well to what I’m going to suggest, but its kind of funny anyway.
If you can’t reason with an idiot, the best thing you can do is aggravate them. Remember every girl who rejected you, every time you got ditched for someone with a cooler hobby (like stamp collecting, or 19th century love poems), every time your mother didn’t let you have a cookie because it would ruin your appetite for dinner, and then dinner turned out to suck anyway! Then unleash that rage. Most gamers don’t get many chances to be offensive to women, so give it your all! Ask her if she’s so grumpy because she’s pregnant (even though you know she isn’t). Claim that men MUST be better than women because otherwise why do you get paid more money for doing the same job? Tell her to shut the fuck up and go knit a sweater or something! Just make sure you’re ready to run, and that none of your favorite miniatures are within her reach. They WILL get thrown at you.
11. The ugly chick that thinks she’s hot.
Most idiots come in two sizes: super skinny and chunky with extra gravy. This one comes in only one size: walrus with opposable thumbs (and you REALLY don’t want to know where those thumbs have been). This idiot will ramble on and on, and all the rambling is about the same thing: her extremely active sex life, in every little disgusting detail. Unless you’re trying to develop your own” stream of corruption” ranged attack, this is not something you need to hear.
She will also dress in a way that would look cheap if she was a teenage bimbo, and now just looks disgusting. And then there’s the flirting. Shameless and totally impervious to the lack of returned interest. Bad touch! No means no! I need an adult!
Solution: Run. Run as fast as you can. Run and don’t look back, and if you have to, throw one of your friends in its path!
12. The cute, funny chick.
She’s cute, maybe even sexy. Kinda smart. She laughs at your lame jokes. She’ll discuss geeky TV shows with you. And she was introduced to the game by her boyfriend, that she loves very much. Sucks to be you, huh?
Solution: Take cold showers. Cry. And recite this mantra: “No one will ever love me, no one will ever love me, no one will ever love me…”